Take a dive into 88 years’ worth of history — Cadillac style. The New Orleans Athletic Club (NOAC) in New Orleans, Louisiana, recently completely renovated its pool from its original bare marble from 1929. The pool that was once filled daily by natural spring water from an Artesian well is now a prestige amenity for the club members — providing new features, better filtration pumps, jets, LED lights, new drainage and fountains cascading crystal clear water into the air.
It’s not all glamorous though — the remodeling came after a sad reality: architecture from 1929 came with plumbing from 1929. After problems with water loss and leaking, NOAC decided it was time for a renovation, and one done right.
NOAC wanted to satisfy the abundance of swimmers it has at the club with the new features, as well as the non-swimmers who just wanted something aesthetically pleasing to look at and listen to during their relaxing workouts.
General manager at NOAC Mike Walters thinks that members and visitors of the club are more-than-satisfied with the new pool.
“The way the pool is situated, there is a balcony over it, and I’ve noticed people migrate over there now because of the water noise,” said Walters. “People are doing their yoga and Pilates there because it changes the ambiance of the environment.”
Walters said the renovation was a little tricky due to the desire to preserve the old image while updating it to include all of the amenities that swimmers may want. The infamous pool has been in five or six major motion pictures so far, but the renovation is already bringing in more on-screen attention.
“I’ve already had two people come in and scout it because we changed the look of it,” said Walters. “It has the old-school feel with the new modernization, and the fountain gives it a new way it views on film now.”
The pool offers different classes and individual swimming lanes, and since the remodeling, vacancy at the pool has been scarce.
“I’ve been here e11 years and I’ve never seen more people in our pool since we reopened it,” observed Walters. “Every time I go past it most of the lanes [if not all] are full.”
Even after finding a lot of “gems” behind the wall, the pool only took about six weeks to renovate. The solution to the leaking? Gunite. Gunite is a mixture of cement, sand and water that produces a layer of concrete material, ensuring no more leaks and no more water loss for the pool. Walters said the gunite is supposed to be guaranteed for 50 years, assuming it’s done correctly, and they put the gunite over the original marble in the pool.
What did Walters learn from the renovation?
“Pools are expensive, but you gotta have them,” said Walters. “It’s a selling point. The swimmers love it. The point is, if you do it — get the right contractor, and do it right.”
Images courtesy of NOAC.